September 27, 2004

Only In Dreams "Under This Burning Sky"

Only In Dreams' album, Under This Burning Sky, starts with a loud, clunky drum line...and it never loses it. Hmm. Sounds like drummer Robbie Garcia had too much coffee for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Thrown over the heavy punk/metal riffs and screams, the band gets torn asunder by the rhythm. That the members sound like they are in a frantic race to beat each other to the end of the song doesn't help, either. Something seems off with the production as well. It feels like they're trying too hard to be tough. They also fall victim to a formula; they start their songs off slow and then lurch into the loud, frantic beat, which then destroys the melody.

In an ironic twist, they actually sound interesting before they go crazy; "Neglected to Survive" being a great case in point; it starts with a brooding instrumental intro that caught my attention, but then they ruined it with the "let's all play as fast as we can" game. They do this, and it gets rather old rather quicky. I bet kids go wild at their shows--you can tell they're a great live band--but that doesn't make Under This Burning Sky any better of a listen. I'll admit I've not been predisposed to this kind of music for well over a decade; even still, it's obvious that Only In Dreams falls victim to too many hardcore cliches.

--Joseph Kyle

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